The Grand Canyon: Hiking the Bright Angel Trail

36 - Getting ready to hike out
Silver Bridge

As I had written before, my wife and I had hiked down the South Kaibab trail and stayed two nights at Bright Angel Campground. After a wonderful day fly fishing Bright Angel Creek, we woke early to prepare for our hike out of the Grand Canyon. After a hearty breakfast, we broke camp and started to ascend the Bright Angel Trail. Although the Bright Angel Trail is longer than the South Kaibab Trail, there is water at the Indian Garden Campground which is roughly the halfway mark. We started early and hiked most of the day in the shade of the surrounding canyon walls. We burned through the first 6 miles of the trail rather quickly, but the last three miles of Bright Angel Trail is mostly switchbacks. We were forced to slow and take our time, pausing often to rest and drink plenty of water. Below is a photo journey of the sites along the trail. Bright Angel Trail is very beautiful and I was happy that we were able to see both South Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails on our trip.

As I did with the South Kaibab Trail, I took notes of our times and stops along the way (although the last three miles were filled with many stops.

  • 7:20 – Left Bright Angel Campground
  • 7:55 – River Rest House
  • 8:20 – Short Break on creek (10 minute break)
  • 9:05 – Top of the Devil’s Corkscrew (5 minute break)
  • 9:40 – Tonto East Trail Junction
  • 9:50 – Indian Garden (refilled water, ate, and rested 35 minute break)
  • 10:55 – Break before 1st set of switchbacks
  • 11:20 – 3 Mile House (15 minute break)
  • 12:30 – 1.5 Mile House (many breaks from 3 Mile House to the top)
  • 1:17 – 1st Arch (still 7/10ths of a mile to the top)
  • 1:45 – 2nd Arch (2/10ths of a mile to the top)
  • 1:50 – Trailhead

Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes

Break Time: over an 1 hour 30 minutes

Hiking time: Roughly 5 hours

Total distance is approximately 9.5 miles

37 - Colorado River
Colorado River
38 - Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
38 - Colorado River
Colorado River
39 - Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
40 - BA Trail
Bright Angel Trail
41 - Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
42 - Devil's Corkscrew
The Devil’s Corkscrew
43 - Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
44 - Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
45 - Flowering Trees
In Bloom
46 - Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
47 - Indian Garden Sign
Indian Garden
48 - Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
49 - Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
50 - Bright Angel Trail out of Indian Garden
Heading out of Indian Garden
51 - Bright Angel Trail
Looking at the top
52 - Trail Mix
Trail Mix
53 - 3 Mile House
3 Mile House
54 - 3 Mile House
3 Mile House
54 - Looking down at 3 Mile House
Looking down at 3 Mile House
55 - Switchbacks
Switchbacks
56 - 1.5 Mile House
1.5 Mile House
57 - From the Top
View from the top
58 - We made it
We made it

 

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